Māori health promotion – a comprehensive definition and strategic considerations

Māori health promotion – a comprehensive definition and strategic considerations was prepared for the Health Promotion Forum of New Zealand by Dr Mihi Ratima.

The purpose of this paper is to provide a definition of Māori health promotion and to discuss Māori health promotion strategic issues to inform practice.  

Māori health promotion is the process of enabling Māori to increase control over the determinants of health and strengthen their identity as Māori, and thereby improve their health and position in society (Ratima 2001).

While this brief definition gives an indication of what Māori health promotion is about, by itself it does not convey completely the meaning and uniqueness of Māori health promotion.

To more fully understand Māori health promotion, it is useful to refer to two models for Māori health promotion – Te Pae Mahutonga (Durie 2000) and Kia Uruuru Mai a Hauora (Ratima 2001).

Together, these models describe both the breadth of Māori health promotion and its defining characteristics. The characteristics include the underlying concept of health, purpose, values, principles, pre-requisites, processes, strategies, key tasks, and markers.


Māori Health Promotion webishops

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Exploring How Te Tiriti o Waitangi can strengthen health promotion capacity

This webishop is about building the structures to support health promotion as a relevant field in Aotearoa for the benefit of the public health sector, the health promotion workforce, and the wellbeing of our nation. Our panel of experts in health promotion discuss the collaborative effort in Aotearoa, led by HPF, to ensure the greater recognition of our profession, and its stability, as envisaged in Te Uru Kahikatea, the Public Health Workforce Development Strategy of the Ministry of Health.


Māori Health Promotion – Developing a prosperous workforce for whānau and whenua

This webishop features a panel of health experts, who discuss crucial skill sets needed to work effectively with Māori and examine the significance of shifting the workforce towards embedding an environmental health lens.


The planet is broken because humanity is waging war on nature, which is a suicidal act, but Indigenous knowledge systems (including Matauranga Māori), can offer solutions, according to the UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterres.

This webishop examines how Māori should focus on their wellbeing first, while they can also contribute to the wellbeing of humanity because they are citizens of an interdependent, globalised world.

It also explores and discusses the impact of planetary health on Māori, and what indigenous and local knowledge and practices that Māori health promoters and other health workers can apply to resolve these challenges at the local and global levels. 


The Next Steps

This webishop discusses how you can enhance the capacity of your organisation and health promoters on applying Te Tiriti to address the determinants of health for all. In Aotearoa New Zealand, health promotion is based on the Ottawa Charter and Te Tiriti o Waitangi. Therefore, in order for health organisations and their health promotion staff, and other health workers, to be effective, their capacity to apply Te Tiriti should be built and enhanced on an on-going basis. Based on research and professional experience, this webishop shares competencies – knowledge, skills and qualities – that will help you and your team build your Te Tiriti competencies.

Promoting Health in Aotearoa New Zealand

Promoting Health in Aotearoa New Zealand 

Louise Signal (Editor) and Mihi Ratima (Editor). 


The health of the planet – and all of us who live on it – is under dire threat from factors such as climate change, obesity and new infectious diseases.

Progressive health promotion is an approach that can counterbalance these threats with practice, policy and advocacy for health, well-being and equity. 

Promoting Health in Aotearoa New Zealand provides a rich scan of the health promotion landscape in New Zealand.

It explores ways in which Māori, and other, perspectives have been melded with Western ideas to produce distinctly New Zealand approaches. In doing so it addresses the need for locally written material for use in teaching and practice, and provides direction for all those wanting to solve complex public health problems.

Read more and to purchase HERE.